NEW YORK, April 30 – Beckman Coulter’s first quarter revenues slipped 0.4 percent to $432.7 million, compared with $434.4 million a year ago, due to unfavorable exchange rates.
On a constant currency basis, sales rose 6.5 percent, said the Fullerton, Calif.-based maker of automation systems for the life sciences, adding that demand for its systems remained strong.
“Beckman Coulter's primary markets within hospital and pharmaceutical research and development laboratories remain healthy,” John Wareham, Beckman’s CEO, said in a statement.
“Demand for systems to simplify and automate all facets of biomedical testing continues to increase, particularly in biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms where a significant amount of new testing is being driven by the genomic and proteomic revolutions,” he said.
Beckman noted that is sales in the Americas were up 7.3 percent in real terms and 7.6 percent in constant currency. This contrasts with a 15.8 percent drop in sales in Europe, or 9.2 percent when adjusted for currency effects. In Asia, sales were down 2.8 percent in real terms and up 4.2 percent in constant currency terms.
The company operating costs and expenses were down slightly to $152.5 million, compared with $156.1 million a year ago.
Net earnings for the first quarter increased to $23.4 million, or 37 cents a diluted share, compared with $21 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, a year ago. The earnings were in line with Wall Street’s expectations.
Looking ahead, Beckman said it expected sales to jump eight percent in constant currency in the second quarter with foreign exchanges cutting the sales growth by three percentage points. The company also foresees net earnings growth in the 13 to 15 percent range for the quarter.
The company is planning to launch several new products in 2001, including the Synchron LX 20 Pro closed-tube sampling clinical system, the Access 2 enhanced immunoassay system, and the Coulter LH750 high-volume hematology system.